Half of the surface area of ​​Place de la Concorde in Paris “will not be returned to motorists after the Olympic Games,” announced Mayor Anne Hidalgo in an interview with La Tribune on Sunday.

Six and a half months before the Summer Olympics, from July 26 to August 11, the socialist mayor indicates that the largest square in the capital “will be offered to the promenade from the Tuileries to the obelisk” at the end games. “Traffic is more fluid by closing half of the square,” she believes, adding that the “place given to the car in this emblematic place will only have been a parenthesis in History.”

“The Place de la Concorde, the Trocadéro and Iéna […], with the Champ de Mars, constitute fifty hectares of pedestrian and planted spaces for walking”, she indicates, and “sixty kilometers of additional cycle paths” will be put in place “compared to what we would have done without the Games”.

“Constraints” before an “unforgettable party”

Place de la Concorde will host the so-called urban sports events (BMX freestyle, breakdance, skateboarding and three-person basketball) of the Paris Olympics, as well as the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games (August 28 – September 8).

This place with degraded furniture and pavement – ​​a recurring criticism addressed to the town hall – had already hosted a fan zone of up to 10,000 people around its famous obelisk during the Rugby World Cup. The fountains on the square are undergoing renovation work which is due to be completed in August.

On infrastructure, the network of cycle paths, the reception of events on the Olympic sites, or even that of tourists, “I have never stopped saying it: we are ready”, underlines Anne Hidalgo, repeating that it there are “other subjects, such as public transport, on which there is still work”.

For Parisians, “of course there will be constraints with the installation of the Olympic sites, for some of them from March-April,” adds the city councilor. But “the Games in Paris will be an unforgettable celebration,” she predicts.